June 17, 2008 Subject:
Classic text on Inorganic Chemistry by G S Newth
Born in Plymouth (England), George Samuel Newth (1851-1936) was the son and one of four children of Dr the Rev Samuel Newth (1821– 1898), principal of New College, London, a noted Biblical scholar, non conformist and mathematician. [George Samuel Newth was brother to Kate NEWTH born c1846 Shropshire, Brother to Anne Elizabeth NEWTH born Mar 1844, registered Madeley Shropshire (Who married Samuel Edward BUTTENSHAW (1871) a secretary Islington), Brother to James Aldridge NEWTH Born Jun 1847 Plymouth, Devon - died 10 Aug 1923 Lane Cove Sydney buried Waverley cemetery (NZ)].
This book (one of 5 books by G S Newth published by Longman, Green & Company of London, England) first appeared in 1894 were 'Chemical Lecture Experiments' first published in 1892 It has been reported of John D R Thomas past president (1990) of the Royal Society of Chemistry in 'Analytical Proceedings, July 1990, Vol 27 p161 that his interest in chemistry derived from his father’s 1913 edition of G. S. Newth’s “Elementary Practical Chemistry-A Laboratory Manual for Use in Organized Science
Schools,”. Herbert Marcus Powell's (1906-1991) biographical details [Biog.Mems. Fell. R. Soc. Lond. 46, 425-442 (2000)] include a poem he wrote about chemicals (The Chemists Dream) which included the lines -
"I awoke upon a grassy bank beside the river Pharpar
In a scene that would have gladdened G.S. Newth or Bruce and Harper"-
Other books Newth had published included 'A Manual of Chemical Analysis - Qualitative and Quantitative' in 1898 and 'Elementary Practical Chemistry' first published about 1896 (earliest UK copy seen is 1904) which was for school chemistry classes. This book was called 'Elementary Inorganic Chemistry' when sold in the USA. 'Smaller Chemical Analysis' published in 1906. was his final book. An American, George D Timmons had a book published in 1912 (Longman Green and Co) called 'Questions on Newth's Inorganic Chemistry' which is hard to find outside of the British Library (BL system number 003640330). Newth also had a number of papers published. For example: "An apparatus for showing experiments with ozone. GS Newth Journal of the Chemical Society, Transactions 69, 1298-1299, Royal Society of Chemistry, 1896.
and "Notes on partially miscible aqueous inorganic liquids" J. Chem. Soc., Trans., 1900, 77, 775 - 778.
Another paper gave an improved method for producing ethylene in the laboratory. Jour. Chem. Soc., 1901, 79, p. 915
George Samuel Newth was also in his youth a keen cyclist and his name appears in a copy of a US cycle magazine 'The Wheelman' under 'Wheel News' on page 234 in 1883 when he was challenged to a race. "Mr. G. S. Newth, of New College, Hampstead,has accepted Mr.Wilson’s “Faed’s”challenge to riders of the “Otto” for a road race, in order to test the comparative speed of the “Otto” and the tricycle".
His wife was Margaret Newth and there is no record of any children. His name and address details can be had from UK Census records etc. Newth was a demonstrator in Chemistry at The Royal College of Science in London (now Imperial College) from the 1880s up to about 1910. He worked with other noted chemists including Frankland and W A Tilden. Newth's books are well worth buying and are a fascinating insight into late Victorian chemistry for schools and colleges and he was in many ways ahead of his time. George Samuel Newth died in Hythe, Kent, England in 1936.
(D.Mullen, Liverpool, England).